Black Saddle Mushroom — Click for larger image. H. lacunosa is frequently found in large numbers in California, especially under Monterey pines and oak trees. Head of the fruit body cm high, cm broad, convoluted and irregularly lobed, sometimes saddle-shaped; margin attached to stipe at several points; flesh. NOTE: It has been brought to my attention that Helvella lacunosa probably does not occur in North America, and instead we have a number of black Elfin Saddle .

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Studies on the Fleshy Fungi of Alaska. The subtle flavor of the black saddle mushroom and the contrasting color of the rice makes this an unusual side dish.

They are often associated with conifers: These black, wrinkle-capped mushrooms occur late in the winter on the West Coast.

The Comprehensive Identification Guide. Helvella over and out.

The broad, hollow, pale-gray stems are fluted and scooped out. They may be distinguished from the creamy-white coloured Lcaunosa crispa by the latter’s furry cap undersurface and inrolled margins when young. Two similar looking species occur in Western North America — Helvella vespertina is associated with conifers and Helvella dryophila is associated with oak.


They also go well with rice.

Helvella lacunosa – Wikipedia

These mushrooms may be cross-sectioned and cooked in cheese sauce, or deep-fried until crisp. When the rice is done, allow it to rest off the heat for at least 5 minutes.

In the eastern United States they show up in smaller numbers. We have two similar species, Helvella dryophilaassociated with oaks and Helvella vespertinaassociated with pines.

Elfin Saddle Mushrooms – Genus Helvella

Mushrooms in their Natural Habitats. The flesh of Elfin Saddles is rubbery, much like a cup fungus or morel mushroom.

A Preliminary Account of the Genus Helvella. But beware of a common white lacunoda pink mold that attacks and coats the surface of the cap. Poisonous mushrooms of the northern United States and Canada.

Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add the slivered almonds. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and cook the onions and green peppers over medium heat for about 5 minutes. The Elfin Saddle sports a folded, bubbly, or lumpy cap that looks much like Gyromitra. When you combine the potential risks of upset stomach and exposure to trace quantities of Gyromitrin, the prospect of eating the Elfin Saddle mushroom becomes significantly less appealing.


Here is a fairly unmistakeable species of Helvella featuring a convoluted black cap hdlvella an ornately fluted stem with cross-ribs and pockets. Add the mushrooms and toss to mix. At first glance, Helvella lacunosa is likely to be mistaken for something dried-up and blackened, but close inspection reveals a fresh mushroom, quite beautiful in its ornateness and dark colors.

California Fungi: Helvella vespertina

Cook over low heat until heated through. They should be parboiled before pickling. Systematic revision and occurrence in northern and northwestern North America.

Helvellla the broth, soy sauce, and tomato paste together, and add to the pot along with the mushrooms, meat, and tomatoes. If using fresh black saddle mushrooms, drop the mushrooms into boiling water to cover. Dredge the meat in the flour. Wikimedia Commons has media related to Helvella lacunosa.

Black saddle mushrooms have deep-black caps and firm, dry, rubbery, whitish stems. Excipular surface a palisade of clavate, hyaline to brown elements.